Inappropriate use of urinary catheters: A prospective observational study

Manish M. Tiwari, Mary E. Charlton, James R. Anderson, Elizabeth D. Hermsen, Mark E. Rupp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background: Despite the well-recognized role of urinary catheters in nosocomial urinary tract infections, data on risk factors associated with inappropriate urinary catheter use are scarce. Methods: A prospective review of electronic medical records of 436 patients admitted to an adult medical-surgical unit between October and December 2007 was performed to examine the appropriateness of urinary catheter use. Results: The use of 157 urinary catheters in 144 patients was observed. A total of 557 urinary catheter-days were recorded in these patients, of which 175 (31.4%) were found to be inappropriate based on the study criteria. The total number of catheters used and the total duration of catheterization were risk factors for inappropriate urinary catheter use (P <.05). Inappropriate catheter use was not associated with such adverse events as mortality, readmission, intensive care unit admission, catheter complications, or urine culture rates, but was associated with a trend toward longer duration of hospitalization. Conclusions: Significant rates of inappropriate urinary catheter use and a trend toward longer duration of hospitalization with inappropriate catheter use were observed. These findings underscore the importance of establishing guidelines and effective policy implementation for the appropriate use of urinary catheters in hospitalized patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-54
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infection
  • Inappropriate use
  • Risk factor
  • Urinary tract infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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